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Centre users take town centre opportunity

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Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.10.37MULTI-TALENTED service users at Llanelli’s Coleshill Centre are helping to unlock the potential of Llanelli town centre, as opportunity beckons. 

The extraordinary range of crafts they produce are for the first time available to purchase on the High Street, with users having taken occupancy of 31, Stepney Street Llanelli. The property has now formally opened for business (Jan 18) with Coleshill orchestrating a long-term plan of occupancy as all the projects that feed into the shop meet the criteria for the Vibrant and Viable Places Regeneration Framework Tackling Poverty Fund

The Centre is occupying the ground floor formally with a number of themed sales events covering Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day and the spring and will be running through the year. In the past, their only outlets have been at craft fairs about the county. The Coleshill initiative is planning a long and successful future in a reborn Stepney Street. In securing the retail venue at 31, Stepney Street, it has provided various projects with the opportunity for the wider engagement within the community for learning, training and social inclusion opportunities.

The shop has been sectioned off into two floor spaces. The frontage is to be the retail part of the project where there will be locally made produced crafts for sale and the back section is where the crafters came and make their products on sight. The range of wares will be from bespoke and highly crafted pens, carpentry items and ceramics to bags of paper wood bricks for the fire or barbecue that can be produced by the least capable service users.

Coleshill hopes to provide through the retail unit social skills, training, employment support initiatives, a better high street environment and at the same time raising the communities awareness of disabilities and peoples abilities and improving their health and wellbeing. The long term plan with a working group of all interested parties being set up is that craft projects throughout Carmarthenshire will be pooled into one resource based at 31, Stepney Street.

Maralie said it was important that the individual crafters and community took ownership of the shop which was why a steering group to voice how the shop is run was being set up and ensure it became a self sustaining operation. They planned to attract individuals from the community and help them gain and maintain their health and well being as a preventative measure not a reactive measure.

The property was made available and has been refurbished by Carmarthenshire council with the support of Welsh Government Opportunity Street funding. The local authorities Communities Department offers several day opportunity services producing bespoke high class crafts. The individuals who attend these services have a varying level of differing needs. Those benefiting will include the economically inactive, unemployed individuals with disabilities, financially excluded and those involved in community including and participation.

Executive Board member for social care and health, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “You cannot fail to be impressed with the astonishing skills of crafters and service users at Coleshill. It is tremendous they now have a permanent base to exhibit, sell and create their wares in Stepney Street.”

The Council is refurbishing two other Stepney Street properties into which the council is hoping entrepreneurs with business nous will step up to the plate to help reinvigorate the town centre. County executive board member for regeneration Cllr Meryl Gravell said steady and positive progress was being made with the Opportunity Street initiative that boded well for Llanelli town centre. Three properties had now been acquired. Number 31, was rushed into service days before Christmas as a pop-up shop to assist Coleshill successfully clear surplus Christmas stock.

A planning application for the renovation of the two other premises, No’s 10 and 12, has been submitted for the purpose of creating improved commercial spaces on the ground floor and a total of four new two-bed flats on the first and second floors. A new rear access with parking provisions have been included in the proposals. Construction will be programmed once planning consent is secured with a view to completing works within grant timescales which are up to April 2017. And there could be more properties to come with the Council driving the initiative with Welsh Government support to help reduce high street apathy, absent landlords, and empty properties.

Executive Board Member Meryl Gravell said: “We are still in discussions with in regard of acquisition of another premises. Terms are yet to be agreed however good progress has been made following lengthy dialogue. We hope to secure more sales by March end 2016.”

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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